Aug 312010

Got another new project yesterday, I will have to improve the performance of registration letter, which has pretty high failure rate on gmail. Actually gmail has less than 10% market share but what I was told is that all gmail users are sort of “opinion leader”, which means they actively blogging, or as a journalist, or whatever.

gmail believes they are cool, they don’t follow most of the conventions in this mail industry. However, since they take themselves as a hi-tech company, I’m going to solve this problem in hi-tech way.

Or, maybe I’m wrong – to beat hi-tech companies, you always need to use low-tech skills 😀

Aug 302010

I’m having troubles in managing projects currently in my hands, I think I need to delegate some tasks so that I can focus on the most important thing, but who can do that?

Supposedly there will be 3~4 people get on board in the coming month, and there should be one takes over product line, and the other can take over IT mail, and I will find another one (wish soon) covering consumer mail’s technical side, then I can step back to oversee everything.

What I am doing now:

  • The consumer mail, both production and technical and project management sides
  • The IT (company’s) mail, technical side
  • The universal message system, as a project manager

and in each project there are several routes need to be taken care of …

I’m lazy in hiring recently, I need to cheer myself up and back to energic.

BTW, who’s still reading this blog, would you please post something so that I know I’m not talking to air?

Mar 132010

I think I have luck, or 6th sense, or whatever, on technical areas. I used to learn something new just for fun, but later on this “something” helped me a lot on some serious projects.

The most recent sample is Cassandra, I started playing with it since last Sep or Oct, it was just because I heard of this “NoSQL” idea and it was trying to solve the problem I’ve been working on for so long (BTW, I used to use LDAP). Then among all those NoSQL solutions, in couple of weeks I locked myself on Cassandra.

Then my team switched from old project to the new one (start from Nov last year), and I got involved starting from this Jan (was doing transition prior to that). I heard about lot of different description about the project, but have no idea until Feb (yes, a month after I join the new project). Then, I found that knowledge I learn from Cassandra helped me really a lot, things like consistent hashing, dynamic deployment (adding/removing nodes, etc), and things like Avro (I don’t know how much Cassandra is using it, but it was the first time I heard of it).

Actually there was another team was trying to use Cassandra for their new project, but executive (I’m not sure which level, maybe SVP or EVP) forced them moved to in-house solution, which is what we are working on, I don’t the story behind that, but you can definitely get the idea of how similar these two are.

Anyway, I think it’s time to try something new as I need to prepare for my next project, it used to take 6 months or so.

P.S. previous samples (for all those I can share with public):

  • I started playing with HTTP/Socket, 8 months later I got a job from a web company. I was trying to let multiple clients using single mainframe connection (the whole office of ~15 people got only one connection as it was expensive and difficult to setup), it became a bridge based on TCP (TCP was still fancy at that time in my industry), then found that I can actually use it to serve queries over the web so I setup a Web server for that (over IIS I remember), etc.
  • I started playing with Linux on my home machine, about 9 months later company officially announce that we are moving to RHEL. In the first 3 months of migration, I got huge number of pings from developers (FreeBSD experts) from different team over the IM, asking me this or that kind of question, and the most popular question is “how can I find out if this package got installed on my box?” and the answer is “rpm -qa | grep -i package-name” :-W …
  • I started playing with MySQL (actually for a friend’s web site), 5 months later I became a heavy MySQL user/admin (I beat Oracle guys at that time, yeah)
  • I started playing Windows SDK to do some desktop development, 3 months later one of my friends asked me to build a music player – that was a crazy project, I finished the first version in Delphi, my friend told me she can only find C++ developers, so I deliver a C++ Builder version, then she mentioned actually those developers know VC++ only (so there are lots of “C++” under Windows >:) ), so the final version was actually VC++ Express
  • and other 2~3 cases that I don’t think I can share as there are some internal terms which could be corporate trade secret …

Sure there are some other negative cases, the most significant is Ada – I spent quite some time on GNAT, etc, did pretty much development, but so far I’m not seeing any possibility to utilize it in any projects.

Feb 192010

I think I had this problem for quite sometime – I’m really slow in warming up.

This happened whenever I moved to a new group or a brand new project, that previous experience doesn’t help me. It seems I’m good at solving problems based on experience, so once experience becomes useless, I’m lost.

I’ve been assigned to current project for months, and I started my “real” work about a month ago, but obviously only till now I can have some real ideas about what the system look like, and what we should do to make it works. I don’t think people like me in previous meetings as most time I was just sitting there listening, not much to present to the team (to help the project). Now the project is about to finish the design phrase, and seems I finally wake up :D. In the past two or three meetings I think I contribute a lot to the project.

It could be another reason though – I may not be that interested with design stuffs, but once it becomes implementation I got my sense and become willing to do something.